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N.C. attorney general launches program to increase SANE nurses for sexual assault survivors

The state of North Carolina is launching a new program that will increase the number of sexual assault nurses across that state who respond to help victims.
The Attorney General is looking to help sexual assault survivors by training 50 sexual assault nurses across the state to care for the victims.
Published: Apr. 7, 2022 at 6:09 PM EDT|Updated: Apr. 7, 2022 at 8:08 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - The state of North Carolina is launching a new program that will increase the number of sexual assault nurses across that state who respond to help victims.

The new measures were announced by Attorney General Josh Stein today during his visit in Charlotte nurses.

Attorney General Stein made the announcement after touring the Survivor Resource Center in Charlotte where survivors of sexual assault can go to get help after that life-changing event.

WBTV talked to a survivor about the changes the state is making.

Lauren Ratcliffe, a sexual assault survivor said, “we all have very different experiences, but I speak for all of us in saying this is a big deal.”

The Attorney General is looking to help sexual assault survivors by training 50 SANE (Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners) nurses across the state to care for victims of sexual assault.

“It is a huge deal that there are 50 more SANE nurses coming to the state, whether that reduces wait times for someone like me or provides someone who is trained in empathy and also in collecting evidence appropriately in rural communities, it’s a very big deal,” said Ratcliffe.

The attorney general said some hospitals across the state don’t have SANE nurses, and it’s a bigger problem in rural areas, but this program will help that problem.

“It will move us closer to what is a basic goal that every hospital and health system have at least one SANE Nurse on staff, but frankly we need many in each hospital,” Stein said.

“Survivors really need to have somebody that they can go to support them, give them not only understanding of what they’re navigating, but give them resources and everything in connecting them,” said Cori Goldstein, Deputy Chief Operating Officer, Safe Alliance.

The AG said the nurses must go through a 40-hour program and he hopes to have them deployed across the state by the second to third quarter of this year.

“No survivor is alone, it can be incredibly isolating in the immediate moments after you’re assaulted, but a place like this tells every survivor that they are believed, that their voice matters,” said Ratcliffe.

The attorney general tells WBTV the program is possible through a $2 million grant from the US Department of Justice.

Half of the money will go to helping with the backlog of rape kits, strategies to deal with the program, and training nurses for this new initiative.

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